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Dr Momna Hejmadi gives pupils a bioscience lab session
Dr Momna Hejmadi gives pupils a bioscience lab session

Internal News - 17 September 2007

Could you inspire school students?

Academics, researchers and PhD students who would like to inspire and encourage local primary and secondary school pupils into higher education are invited to get involved with the University’s outreach programme.

The Widening Participation team is currently scheduling subject taster sessions on campus for the new school year and is keen to hear from staff interested in holding a session in their department.

“Taster sessions can range from a half-hour activity to a day long event, and the more practical they are the better” said Liz Andrews, Outreach Events Coordinator at the University.

“Staff design and run their own teaching activity, and we handle the overall organisation. We can give guidance on what level to pitch information and provide support on the day, including behaviour management.

“We also organise undergraduate ‘student ambassadors’ who help at the sessions and are trained to support the school students and provide information on life at university.”

Staff volunteer their teaching time for the sessions but a payment is made to their department’s budget, to help cover any associated costs and staff time.

Dr Momna Hejmadi, Lecturer in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, has run bioscience taster sessions for four years and finds it very enjoyable.

“I set up activities with a strong practical theme in molecular biology, neurosciences and genetics, with contributions from colleagues in the department,” said Dr Hejmadi. “The pupils really enjoy trying their hand at methods that are new to them and sometimes cutting edge.

“It’s a wonderful experience because they are so enthusiastic, questioning and bubbly. I run the sessions in the summer and it really doesn’t take a lot of time.”

To find out more about running a taster session please contact Liz Andrews on 3507 or email